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Wagner-style hackers are after the UK

by on20 April 2023

National Cyber Security Centre shin-dig hears

Russia-aligned cyber groups sympathetic to the invasion of Ukraine have been trying to disrupt or destroy the UK’s infrastructure, according to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden.

In his keynote speech at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)’s annual cyber security event in Belfast, Dowden said the NCSC is issuing an official alert about these groups, which he said are “the cyber equivalent of the Wagner group.”

For those who don’t get the metaphor, the Wagner group is an illegal private army of paramilitaries who work for that nice Mr Putin and are linked to several war crimes in Ukraine. Comprising of Russian prisoners, they tend to be hit by sledgehammers by their fellows if they run away.

According to the minister, these groups are ideologically-motivated and want to disrupt or destroy the UK’s critical national infrastructure. Apparently, they were “more opportunistic” and “less likely to show restraint” than state-controlled actors, Dowden said.

Fortunately, Dowden does not believe the groups are clever enough to cause widespread damage to UK infrastructure, but they are getting there.

The minister said he will set cyber resilience targets for all critical national infrastructure sectors to meet by 2025 and is working on new laws to include private sector businesses working in critical national infrastructure into the scope of cyber resilience regulations.


Last modified on 20 April 2023
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